Category Archives: Concert Announcements

Help Juck Juck Grunzie get to Glastonbury

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Juck Juck Grunzie — heck, they were the first group I ever covered on this website. Well, things have been going well with the group, and now they’ve gotten an invitation to play at this year’s Glastonbury festival at the end of June (and at Berghain in Berlin on July 1).

However, traveling to Europe isn’t cheap, so the group will be holding a fundraising concert this Saturday evening at DGBD in Hongdae at 11pm. The show is just 10,000 won, and includes Table People, Baekma, and Cranfield.

It should be a lot of fun, and you’d be helping one of the best bands in Korea, so check it out!

JuckJuck Fundraiser

Festival Time Again

Ice coffees are back in vogue, the moggies are starting to annoy us, and the World DJ Festival is over — all of which means that it’s pretty much summer and, more importantly, the outdoor music festival season is upon us.

Most of the big festivals from last year are back, one returns after a one-year hiatus, another celebrates its 10th year, one classic fest is really taking things up to a new level, and two seem strangely absent. So let’s do a roll call of who is doing what, when, and for how much. In chronological order, let’s meet the class of 2015!

Greenplugged —  May 23-24
Nanji Camping Ground, Han River Park
66,000 won (1 day), 109,000 won (2 days)

Now an institution in sixth year, Greenplugged is a 2-day, multizone festival featuring a host of Korean acts across all genres. Headliners this year include (Saturday) YB, Dynamic Duo, and Sinawe (with Kim Bada), and (Sunday) MFBTY, Guckasten, Epitone Project, and Serengeti. There seems to be a strong hip hop focus and less rock than it used to have, but with such a nice location for live music I’m sure they will again attract a solid crowd.

Greenplugged 2015

Seoul Jazz Festival — May 23-25
Olympic Park
123,000 won (1 day), 190,000 won (2 days), 287,000 won (3 days)

Another festival running this weekend, this one for three days, from Saturday till Monday, and encompassing a very broad variety of artists, including Chick Korea & Herbie Hancock, Basement Jazz, Owl City, Mika, Sergio Mendes, Gregory Porter, and The Cardigans, plus a large number of other international and domestic acts. With four zones and the advantage of being held over the Buddha birthday weekend, they really seem to have pulled out all the stops to make this one of the biggest festivals of the season. One could argue the “jazziness” of this event, but that seems to be the trend the world over, and I think they will draw record numbers this weekend.

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Exit Festival — May 30-31
Olympic Stadium
66,000-88,000 won

Now in its second year (after last year’s rain affected the launch), Exit has been moved to an earlier time and has a similar lineup, if not slightly stronger one. Two large outdoor zones backed up by a third smaller covered one, this all Korean fest brings together rock, pop, funk, and pretty much all genres for two fun days. Acts include Crying Nut, Clazziquai, Glen Check, No Brain, Galaxy Express, Yellow Monsters, Windy City, and about 75 more, so there is definitely bang for your buck.

Ultra Korea (UMF) — June 12-13
Olympic Stadium
180,000 won

Now in its fourth year, and showing no signs of slowing down, Korea’s premier EDM event has unleashed some of the biggest names in the business, with Skrillex and David Guetta sure to attract huge numbers on their own.  They will be joined by Alesso, Hardwell, Nicky Romero, Knife Party, and many more. Last year’s introduction of the “live arena” proved popular, and sees Snoop Dogg, CL, Galantis, Porter Robinson, 2ManyDJ’s,  Lil Jon and others take the stage. It’s definitely the festival to beat in terms of dance.

Rainbow Island Music Festival — June 20-21
Nami Island
44,000-66,000 won

This 2-day, family-friendly event in the Gyeonggi countryside is back for its fifth year, and, after experimenting with a few international acts in the past, this year they’re keeping things strictly Korean. This fest will have the Kim Chang Won Band, Benzeeno, Sultan of the Disco, Mimi Sisters, The Barberettes, and many more.

Rainbow Island 2015

Ansan Valley Rock Festival — July 24-26
Daebu Sea Breeze Theme Park
150,000 won (1 day), 220,000 won (2 days), 260,000 won (3 days)

This the second time Valley Rock has played in the Ansan Valley location (after missing last year), and the festival certainly got tongues wagging with their initial announcement that the Foo Fighters would be in attendance. They have been joined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Deadmau5, OK Go, Rudimental, Motorhead, The Chemical Brothers, One OK Rock, Twenty One Pilots, and a host of local acts. We have heard that festival organizers have made a lot of changes to the layout and organization to make this year’s Valley Rock better than ever.

Pentaport Rock Festival — Aug. 7-9
Songdo Pentaport Park
110,500 won (1 day), 153,000 won (2 days), 187,000 won (3 days)

Ten years. TEN YEARS! The original is still rocking, and looking to celebrate a decade in style. Its lineup is still getting announced, but so far international acts include The Prodigy, Scorpions, and The Kooks, to help the early bird tickets sell out fast. Joined by the one and only Seo Taiji (who normally only plays festivals that have his name in the title), 10CM, Windy City, Yellow Monsters, Thornapple, and many more, it looks like it will be a fun birthday.

Pentaport 2015

So far, there seems no word about Supersonic or CityBreak being held this year, although Let’s Rock has started selling blind tickets for its Sept. 19-20 dates. Global Gathering, coming Oct. 3, is also selling blind tickets for a big discount, while the Jarasum Jazz Festival will be held Oct. 9-11. 

We will try to keep you updated with all things festive and hope you get to enjoy the many sonic flavors on offer in the 2015 season.

Death conquers Korea in cross-country tour

Under the manifesto, “Many Nations, One Underground,” Conquest for Death represents the hardcore/thrash/death metal/punk communities from three different continents. With members from the US, Japan, and Australia, these guys are quite well travelled and spend a lot of time on the road.

“Playing in a touring, underground DIY hardcore punk band has taught us volumes about ourselves and the world we live in,” says the band’s website. “The lyrics to one Conquest for Death song state, ‘Metal taught me history, punk taught me geography’ and these words are totally true.”

They’re coming to Korea as part of a four-country East Asia tour that also includes dates in Mongolia, China, and Japan. The Korea arm of their tour, with shows in Seoul, Daegu, and Busan, was put together by JP of Korea’s own tri-continental band MyManMike (with members from the US, Korea, and France), though they won’t be able to open at all on this tour due to their own geographical distances.

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Conquest for Death Seoul show

Date: Friday, April 24
Time: 20:00
Venue: Space Moon
Price: 10,000 KRW
Bands: Nahu (grindcore), Kitsches (hardcore punk), Christfuck (grindcore), Dead Gakkahs (fastcore), Gonguri (doom), Scumraid (crasher crust), the Geeks (youth crew hardcore)
RSVP on Facebook

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Conquest for Death Daegu show

Date: Saturday, April 25
Time: 19:00
Venue: Urban Lounge Bar
Price: 15,000 KRW
Bands: GoldenTicket (melodic punk), Sidecar (skatepunk), Bettyass (skatepunk), Propeller21 (skatepunk), Strikers (skatepunk), TodayXSpot (hardcore)
RSVP on Facebook

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Conquest for Death Busan show

Date: Sunday, April 26
Time: 19:30
Venue: The Basement
Price: free
Bands: Manixive (melodic metalcore), All I Have (hardcore)
RSVP on Facebook

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Kingston Rudieska get Aggro

If you thought Kingston Rudieska‘s last release — Ska n’ Soul with Dr Ring-Ding — was too short, now they’ve gone and put out a full two-CD album. This latest project, titled Everyday People, shows off the nine-piece ska band in pure form. Simply put, they’ve never sounded more like themselves before.

The secret weapon in their arsenal this time was Brian Dixon, music engineer extraordinaire. You might have heard some of his music from his time playing guitar in the LA dirty reggae band the Aggrolites, but his main love is in producing music. Dixon was in Korea this September to record, giving Korea Gig Guide enough time to ask him a few questions about his mission here.

How were you convinced to come to Korea?

An old friend of mine, Walter Dunn, works for the US military and is stationed in Korea. He told me about Kingston Rudieska and that they were going to do a new album and that I should engineer/produce it. He told me they were great musicians, but they needed that “grit” that I’m known for.

Brian Dixon (right) with Walter Dunn, former vocalist of Stingers ATX

Brian Dixon (right) hangs out with Walter Dunn (left), former vocalist of Stingers ATX, at a Kingston Rudieska concert at Sungkyunkwan University.

I have traveled the world, but had never been to Korea. Kingston Rudieska are a tight band and I wanted to make them sound the way I hear them. It was a very easy sell. Getting to go to a foreign country to record ska/rocksteady/reggae is a blessing.

Can you explain your philosophy on music production? What makes a recording have grit?

My approach is so simple. I have the band play live together in the same room. No headphones. No separation. I put them in a circle, so they can all see each other. The band always plays better in their natural environment. This is how they rehearse. This is how they sound the best. It’s so easy.

What is one thing you can zero in on about Kingston Rudieska that you would say is truly unique and special?

I instantly Ioved their “Asian” take on Jamaican music. They do it differently than musicians from California. Musicians from Los Angeles have a certain take on Jamaican music. Asians have their way. Both are valid, in my opinion. Life isn’t fun if you eat the same dinner every night.

Is there a lot of what you would consider “Koreanness” in their music?

There’s some, but I wanted more. This was a big discussion during the recording. They wanted a more traditional Jamaican sound. I wanted a more “Korean sound,” using ancient traditional Korean melodies and instruments. They seemed a bit confused why I kept asking them to do that. Five thousand years of culture… it is amazing to me. Finally, the last day, they indulged me with a “jam session” – they pulled out two ancient Korean songs to play. It was amazing! They actually embraced their 5,000-year-old culture and played the music that is in their souls. Beautiful.

Why was it decided to do a second disc?

When I do production/engineering work, I usually ask the band to do a “jam session” for me. This is helpful for a number of reasons. I get to hear what the band is sounding like in that particular studio. I can check all of the mics. The band starts to relax and have fun, which makes recording their songs much easier because the studio can be stressful for musicians. Kingston Rudieska was against my idea at first. It’s just not the Korean way. On the last day, we finished with the recording of all their songs, so they allowed my “jam session.” That became the second disc. The second disc isn’t “perfect,” but it has a certain energy that is even higher than the album. An incredible few hours that I will never forget. The band was on fire!

How will this album compare to earlier Kingston Rudieska recordings?

I recorded them the way they were meant to sound!

The double album Everyday People was released at the start of the month, but the release party is happening on Saturday, December 13 at MUV Hall, around the corner from Sangsang Madang in Hongdae. The concert starts at 7 pm and tickets are 35,000 won in advance and 40,000 won at the door.

Kingston Rudieska Everyday People For more information, RSVP on Facebook.

The Business trip to Korea

Remember that time that classic UK punk band came to Korea for a show? No? Oh right, probably because this is the first time this has ever happened.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Business concluded their tour of Japan and flew to Korea for their August 15 show.

“I’ve been to Japan before, but not South Korea, the Business vocalist and last remaining original member Mickey Fitz told Dave Hazzan in an interview for Broke in Korea. It’s one of those places that you – I wouldn’t say never considered going to – but it’s one of those places that doesn’t pop into your head because you don’t know anybody there.”

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A Business meeting at skinhead-themed chicken restaurant This is Chicken. From left: Bundy, Fish, Redboi (promoter), Micky, and Trots.

Formed in South London in 1979, the Business were influential in the Oi! music scene of the late ’70s, a movement that rejected academic and artistic pretensions in favour of working-class street anthems. They had an impact on many younger bands, even all the way over here in Korea. One member even mentions that they were contacted by Korean pogo-punk band Couch several years ago when the band was seeking permission to cover their song “Drinking and Driving,” and they received a stack of Couch albums.

The Business was originally active from 1979 to 1988, and after a few years they reformed with a new lineup. The current drummer, Bundie, and bassist, Trots, have been with the band for a decade, and guitarist Fish has known Fitz for 20 years, and since joining, they estimate Fish has played about 400 shows with the band. Business is booming for the Business, and the current lineup has toured all over the world. On this tour, they’ll be selling copies of their latest EP, Back in the Day.

Redboi and his Business associates check out the venue, with Prism manager Son Jae-woo.

Redboi and his Business associates check out the venue, with Prism manager Son Jae-woo.

This show was made possible by an encounter with Redboi, an American who recently moved to Daegu with his wife who serves in the US military and their son. Redboi had run into the band in Nashville, Tennessee, and he invited them to play a show in Korea. In order to make it profitable, he helped them set up a tour of Japan as well, leaving the single Seoul date the final show of the tour.

The Business will be playing at Prism Hall on Friday, August 15, backed by local Oi! band Resolute, hardcore band Things We Say, and streetpunk band Rux. RSVP on Facebook for the Business show here. On Saturday, they’ll be taking a break from performing to go to Thunderhorse Tavern, where an afterparty concert is being organised in their honour, giving more Korean punks the chance to meet the band and show off their music. The acts for this show are skinhead reggae group Pegurians, pogo-punk group Return Bois, hardcore band Mixed Blood, punk band Cockrasher, and new black metal group Peaz Deaz. RSVP for the afterparty here.

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Support the New Generation of Ska

So, there’s a free show at Thunderhorse Tavern this weekend. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to be cheap. The show is being held to support Team New Generation of Ska, a consortium of Korean skaholics (no, I did not make that word up) who have an ambitious plan. And I’m not talking about the Cass and Red Rock for 3000 won and 2000 won rum and cokes that will be offered from 10:30 to 11:30.

team_new_generation_of_ska_fundraiser_posterThis show is in support for a big ska festival planned for August 30, featuring Korea’s ska, ska-punk, and reggae bands, as well as two bands from Japan and one from America. They’ll be playing on Munwha Geori, the pedestrian-only street running between Sinchon Station and Yonsei University. And all this for free.

Eight years ago, Ryu Jinsuk of Skasucks launched the New Generation of Ska concert series, always with the idea to grow it into something bigger and more global. This year, as well as bringing together most of the Korean ska and ska-punk scene, they’re inviting Japanese two-tone-influenced bands Rollings and the Autocratics, as well as California’s Bruce Lee Band fronted by Mike Park, the Korean-American guy behind Asian Man Records. This milestone DIY festival is completely crowdfunded, with no signs yet of corporate sponsorship.

This Saturday, you can sample two of the bands that are part of Team New Generation of Ska.

Rudy Guns play ska-punk in a similar style to Skasucks: fun and full of energy.

The Pegurians are a new skinhead reggae band featuring Janghyup of the Korean oi band Resolute on vocals, and Korea’s #1 rudeboy Jude Nah on keyboard. Although they are a near-perfect recreation of an early reggae band from the ’60s, they bring a unique new sound to Korea.

As well, Rudy Guns and Pegurians are joined by Dead Buttons, recently back from a tour of the UK which we reported on earlier this year, and it’s clear they have no intention of slowing down. They will also be joined by The Woozy, another rock n roll/rockabilly/blues act that’s a little earlier in their career but still doing great.

So, please come out this Saturday and show your support. For more information or to donate, please visit the Team New Generation of Ska Tumblbug page, or visit their Facebook page to find out how to make a bank transfer. Also, you can read an interview with Ryu Jinsuk about the festival over at DoIndie.

The show starts this Saturday at 9pm. RSVP on Facebook.

…Whatever That Means CD Release on May 10

Earlier this year, Jeff and Trash Moses celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. They also celebrated five years as a band, playing guitar and bass for …Whatever That Means, a project that debuted on their wedding night as a one-off thing for Jeff.

Now, they’re releasing their second full-length album, Sixty-Eight, Twenty-Two, a reference to the distance from Hongdae Playground to the apartment they lived in in Pennsylvania while Jeff was in grad school. The title song, with guest vocals by Jonghee from Rux, is about Jeff’s journey to Korea and turning it into his adopted home. “Where you grow up and where you’re from, they don’t always stay the same,” Jeff explains in the lyrics. Recently, they recorded a music video for the song in their Yeomni-dong rooftop home, further declaring that this is where they belong.

Impressively, they only got one call from the police.

Impressively, they only got one call from the police.

The album also includes a cover of the Suck Stuff classic “This Wasteland,” with guest vocals from Paul, the original songwriter/singer, as well as a proper recording of “Punk Rock Tourist,” Jeff’s condemnation of random people coming to punk shows and criticising the scene out of their own ignorance/experience.

10336648_248731691999847_8966933574919543865_nThe CD officially debuted at a show in Gwangju last weekend, and it comes out this Saturday at Club Spot. For the Seoul debut, they team up with Wasted Johnny’s, the only band in Korea with more confusing punctuation than …Whatever That Means, as well as Gwangju skatepunk band Bettyass, Seoul ska-punk legends SKASUCKS, Oi! Resolute, and skatepunk band 1Ton.

The show starts at 8pm, and 15,000 won gets you entry, a free CD, and the infamous free cocktail hour from 11 to 12.

RSVP on Facebook.

2013 Korea/Japan Punk Festival at Prism Nov 16

Historically Korea and Japan have gotten along about as well as vinegar and baking soda. That can’t be said for the punk scenes of the two countries, which have been best of friends as far back as anyone can remember.
Poster for the 2013 Korea Japan Punk Festival
The longest-running bilateral punk collaboration would have to be the Korea/Japan Punk Festival, first held nine years ago on June 26, 2003 in legendary Hongdae punk club Skunk Hell, with nine of Korea’s best punk bands and seven bands from Japan. The following year, it was held in Anti-Knock in Tokyo.

Since then, it has been held almost every year, with the Korean shows moving to Club Spot after Skunk Hell’s closure. This year the festival is moving to the much larger and better-lit Prism Hall over by Hotel the Designers for its fifth time being held in Korea (ninth overall).

koreajapanoifest2004This year’s show brings a diverse selection of 17 great Korean bands, both young and old, together with five Japanese bands. One highlight should be the Discocks, a legendary Japanese band formed in 1992 that directly inspired the infamous Korean band Couch and Seoul’s pogo-punk scene of the mid-2000s. We’ll also get to see the Erections and 00squad, both who played the Japan/Korea Punk Festival last year. We’ll also get to see Osaka pogo band Beer Belly (who are promoted for this show as Bearbelly) and the Foolishness.

koreajapanpunkfest2011Some of the Korean highlights will be Korea/Japan Festival veterans Rux, Skasucks, and Daejeon’s Burning Hepburn, as well as  talented newcomers the Veggers and Dead Buttons, and new bands with veteran Korean punks 100 Blossom Club (with members of Spiky Brats, Cockrasher, Dirty Small Town, and the Patients) and Heimlich County Gun Club (featuring Paul Brickly, former guitarist of Rux and Suck Stuff).

Previously, the festival was known under the name Korea/Japan Oi! Fest, then Korea/Japan Oi/Punk Fest. The festival was first organised in Korea by Won Jonghee (lead vocalist of Rux and manager of Skunk Hell and Skunk Label) and Shin Hyeon-beom (Couch vocalist/guitarist). This year’s festival is being managed by Ryu Jin-seok (lead vocalist of Skasucks).
koreajapanpunkfest2012The Korea/Japan Punk Fests always make for great shows, as all the bands and their supporters always put on a big show for their Japanese guests, and the Japanese bands in turn always put on great performances. International friendships are made and the wheels are set in motion for future Korea/Japan punk collaborations, and you’ll never hear as much English spoken at a Korean punk show, as everyone falls to the common language for communication.

This show starts early at 2 pm because there are more than 20 bands to get to, but expect things to move fast as the bands whip through shortened versions of their sets to make time for everyone else.

Click here to  RSVP or find out how to book tickets in advance.

The Killers Coming To Seoul in October

**KOREA GIG GUIDE HAS FREE TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY FOR THE KILLERS’ SEOUL CONCERT. DETAILS ON HOW TO WIN THE TICKETS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST**

Chart-topping American rock band The Killers will be playing their first ever concert in Korea on Saturday, October 5 in Seoul at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park.

The Killers

Formed in 2001 in Las Vegas, over the past dozen years the quartet have released four full-lengths, headlined some of the biggest music festivals in the world, and gathered a whole lots of accolades and awards. Their first album, 2004’s “Hot Fuss,” was ranked no. 33 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s “The 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time” list, and the disc’s lead single, “Mr. Brightside,” was ranked no. 5 on NME’s 2011 “150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years” list.

The Killers are currently on tour in support of last year’s “Battle Born.” This past June they played the 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium in London – their largest headlining gig to date. The Guardian reviewed the concert and gave the band a 5/5 for their performance, which bodes well for fans attending The Killers’ upcoming Seoul performance.

The group recently announced that they will be releasing a greatest hits album in November called “Direct Hits.” The offering will also boast two new songs including a track called “Shot at the Night” which was produced by M83′s Anthony Gonzalez. You can check out “Shot at the Night” below.

The Killers play at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park on Saturday, October 5. The show starts at 7 pm and tickets cost from 77,000 won – 121,000 won. Advanced tickets can be purchased in English here and in Korea here.

The Killers Poster

Want to win a pair of free tickets to see The Killers play at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park? Korea Gig Guide has two pairs of tickets to give away for the band’s October 5 concert courtesy of 9 Ent. To qualify for the tickets, simply share this story on Facebook or Twitter. Then email us at koreagigguide@gmail.com to let us know that you’ve posted the link to your Facebook or Twitter page, and we’ll add your name to the draw. The contest closes at 12 pm on Friday, September 27 and we’ll notify winners by 2 pm that day. Good luck!

Bellydancing to Yukari, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, and Toyshop

Seoul indie acts Yukari, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, and Toyshop will collaborate with bellydancers Eshe and Navah on Friday night (August 23) at Club Freebird as part of the Shake Shop concert series.  As always, the monthly event is co-presented by Mangwon’s Dream Dance Studio and Korea Gig Guide.

Having never seen live bellydancing before, dream pop artist Yukari is looking forward to being a part of Shake Shop.

“I’ve seen bellydancing on TV, but I haven’t actually seen a bellydance performance yet so I’m excited about being able to watch a real show,” she says.  “I think our collaboration is going to be a lot of fun because my music is very different from traditional bellydance music.”

Currently gigging behind her excellent 2012 “Echo” EP, Yukari plans to continue doing shows until October.  In November, she will begin crafting music for her debut full-length album.  She hopes to issue the finished recording next summer.

Seoul post-punk quartet Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio are definitely one of Hongdae’s most promising up-and-comers right now.  The band played at the Green Plugged festival in May and also appeared at the Jisan World Rock Festival a few weeks back.  They were recently added to the lineup for this fall’s Grand Mint Festival as well.  Their best known cut is the catchy, playful “Shut Up and Dance.”  The members usually showcase a bit of their two-stepping skills while performing the song.  Perhaps we’ll see them dancing together with the bellydancers at Shake Shop?

Instrumental post-rock quintet Toyshop performed at the inaugural Shake Shop event back in February.  The group’s fantastic, cinematic compositions fit wonderfully with bellydancing and the band and the dancers have wanted to work together again ever since.

And while we’re thrilled to have them on the bill for volume 7 of the Shake Shop we’re also a bit sad as well.  Guitarist Joseph Lee and drummer Hyunjin Cho will both be starting their mandatory military service soon so this will be their final concert with the band.  But on the positive side, at least they’ll be ending things with a very cool collaborative performance.  The video below is of Toyshop and Eshe at Shake Shop Vol. 1.

The Shake Shop Vol. 7 takes place on Friday, August 23 at Club Freebird. The show starts at 11:00 pm and the cover charge is 10,000 won with one free drink. Eshe and Navah will perform alongside Yukari, Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, and Toyhshop. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook event page here.